Prof­its dou­ble to £13m as Co Ty­rone auc­tion firm ex­pands into Dubai

Belfast Telegraph - - BUSI­NESS - BY JOHN MUL­GREW

A NORTH­ERN Ire­land plant auc­tion­eer­ing firm has seen its prof­its more than dou­ble to £13m in the space of a year.

Gardrum Hold­ings, which trades as Euro Auc­tions, saw pre­tax prof­its surge from £6.5m to £13.1m in the year to De­cem­ber 31, 2016.

The firm, which has its base in Co Ty­rone, has un­der­gone re­cent ex­pan­sion, in­clud­ing open­ing a new site in Dubai ear­lier this sum­mer.

The com­pany has its head of­fice in Dro­more. It was founded by Derek Keys and is still a fam­ily-run busi­ness.

The lat­est ac­counts show that, de­spite its huge profit boost, turnover fell from £84.1m to £78.4m in the last year. It’s also ex­panded its work­force, grow­ing staff num­bers from 221 to 292 in the space of 12 months.

In its strate­gic re­port, the firm says it is “en­gaged prin­ci­pally in con­duct­ing off-site and on site machin­ery auc­tion sales and val­u­a­tions through­out Europe, Aus­tralia and the US”.

Speak­ing about its lat­est per­for­mance, it says “the direc­tors con­sider the re­sults for the year and the po­si­tion of the group at the year end to be sat­is­fac­tory”.

“The group will con­tinue to seek ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to in­crease prof­itable turnover in­clud­ing, but not lim­ited to, the pur­chase of trade of Yoder & Frey Auc­tion­eers Inc, in Jan­uary 2017”.

The di­rec­tor also “an­tic­i­pates that the group will re­main prof­itable in 2017”.

“The di­rec­tor has in place plans to en­sure the group is strongly placed, go­ing for­ward.”

The strate­gic re­port says that “per­for­mance in the sec­tor is af­fected by gen­eral eco­nomic con­di­tions and spe­cific sec­toral fac­tors”.

“Sales are more preva­lent in the grow­ing economies, where more in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ments reg­u­larly take place.

“The group’s ac­tive re­view of mar­ket prices both pro­vides pro­tec­tion and max­imises op­por­tu­ni­ties from an­tic­i­pated price rises.”

Euro Ac­tions has taken on a new 22-acre site in or­der to deal with its bur­geon­ing busi­ness in the Mid­dle East.

At the time, Jon­nie Keys, com­mer­cial man­ager at Euro Auc­tion, said “as part of the con­tin­ued global Euro Auc­tions brand ex­pan­sion, the Mid­dle East, and in par­tic­u­lar the United Arab Emi­rates, was al­ways the next coun­try in which to es­tab­lish a strong and sta­ble op­er­at­ing base.

“We have many good re­la­tion­ships with buy­ers and sell­ers in the Mid­dle East and Africa and this new auc­tion lo­ca­tion will en­able us to cre­ate stronger re­la­tion­ships with our cus­tomers in this re­gion and open the door to many new buy­ers and sell­ers,” he said.

The firm held its first auc­tion in Dro­more in 1998, and ex­panded else­where in the UK in 2000, set­ting up a site in Leeds in 2002.

It then ex­panded into Ger­many in 2006.

It also has sub­sidiaries in Aus­tralia, Spain and the US.

The com­pany is the largest auctioneer of con­struc­tion machin­ery in the UK.

In Septem­ber, the com­pany held its first auc­tion in Hong Kong.

That in­cluded sell­ing off around 400 lots, across a range of heavy plant machin­ery prod­ucts.

Lots in­cluded a large range of 45 tonne ex­ca­va­tors, more than 20 ar­tic­u­lated dump trucks and 10 mo­bile cranes.

Jon­nie Keys, com­mer­cial man­ager at Euro Auc­tion and (right) the Leeds and Dubai plants

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